Results tagged ‘ Bloomberg Sports ’
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw counts down the top five Canadian hitters who could help your fantasy team.
5) Russell Martin, C, Yankees
Russell Martin only had two hits in the Subway Series against the Mets, but the Yankees backstop made them count with two home runs. After belting 18 home runs a season ago, Martin is again offering some pop with eight home runs this season. On the other hand, his batting average continues to sink, as it is down to .208 after Martin hit just .237 last season. Regardless, the combination of power and plate discipline with fine defense makes Martin a key component of the Yankees success.
4) Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins
Twins fans have to be thrilled with what we’ve seen from Justin Morneau so far this season. After missing time and struggling due to a concussion and wrist issues, Morneau has blasted 11 home runs for a Twins offense desperate for power. He is still far from his peak form, as his average is down to .247, but we’ve seen enough progress to think that the 31-year-old veteran still has some nice production left in the tank.
3) Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays
The biggest Canadian prospect in quite some time, Brett Lawrie has struggled to meet expectations so far this season. Though his .275 average, 30 runs, and eight steals aren’t anything to complain about, his power has been lacking. Lawrie’s on-base percentage has suffered as well. The Blue Jays are trying to jumpstart Lawrie by placing him at the top of the lineup. It seemed to work on Sunday, as he blasted a home run and scored two runs.
2) Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners
The Mariners improvement this season comes from a few surprising sources including rising hitter Michael Saunders. The Mariners centerfielder has provided some pop with six home runs, and also some speed, as he already has a career-high nine stolen bases. Most importantly, Saunders is reaching base more often with a .272 batting clip that is significantly higher than his .216 career average. Though he still strikes out a bit too often, his .341 on-base percentage makes it much more tolerable.
1) Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
Joey Votto is making his case for a second NL MVP Award. On Tuesday he blasted his 11th home run of the season while driving in three RBI and increasing his batting average to .357. Despite the Reds impressive collection of sluggers including Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips batting behind him, the opposition is again opting to issue walks to Votto. His on-base percentage is near 50%, which in itself reflects the dominance of Votto this season. Forget calling Votto the best player in Canada, so far this year he is making a case to be the best in the world.
For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses four low-cost hitters worth adding to your fantasy roster this week.
Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds
At first Todd Frazier looked a lot like an all-or-nothing guy. He has some pop, but his average has been low and he does not draw many walks. However, over the last few weeks he has enjoyed the chance to play everyday and have confidence that he will not be pulled. Ever since, Frazier has found a comfort zone, hitting both right-handers and southpaws alike.
After blasting five home runs last month, Frazier is hitting .296 in June and the strikeouts are in decline while the walks are increasing in frequency. The power is legitimate and his minor league record suggests there could be many more stolen bases coming. Frazier is an excellent buy-low option who may have secured the starting third base gig for the long-term in Cincinnati.
Justin Maxwell, OF, Astros
Justin Maxwell is a name from the past for Nationals fans. He contributed in bits and parts of seasons, but never offered the consistency needed to stick. Last season he played with the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate and in just 176 at-bats, he sent 16 bombs over the fence. Now he’s getting a shot with the Astros and he has shined with six home runs in 93 at-bats.
On the other hand, his .237 average has kept him on the bench a bit too often to contribute in fantasy circles. All of that could change, as Maxwell is showing some signs that he has something to offer. He has three home runs in nine games this month and is hitting .277 at Minute Maid. Odds are his low average will limit his playing time, but Maxwell does have the power potential that may make you roll the dice.
Norichika Aoki, OF, Brewers
In Japan, Aoki once hit 20 home runs and in another year surpassed 30 bases. However, the Brewers were not expecting a five-tool talent when they signed the 30-year-old to a two-year deal with $2.5 million guaranteed. However, in a disappointing season for the Brewers, Aoki has been excellent. He is batting a clean .300 with three home runs and five steals. He is currently riding a five-game hit streak with nine hits, two home runs, and three steals over that stretch.
Brett Wallace, 1B, Astros
The 13th pick of the 2008 draft, Brett Wallace has seen it all. He’s been drafted twice, traded three times, and after being a pleasant surprise with a .388 average in the first month of the season, his numbers took a serious downturn, resulting in a demotion to the minor leagues.
After opening the season at Triple-A with the main goal of developing some power, he was called up to the Astros. Through seven games he is hitting .400 with two home runs. The odds are against Wallace sustaining these numbers. He did not offer much of an average in the minors and still must prove that the power is legitimate. Regardless, he will have every chance to succeed with the Astros and should be in their lineup on a daily basis.
Shaw also responds to a question about what fantasy managers should do about Cliff Lee in the Bloomberg Sports Twitter Stumper of the Day.
Question: I’m considering trading Cliff Lee right now. He has 10 starts and zero wins. Is anyone in the same boat? Do you think I’m crazy?
Answer: Yes, you are crazy! Wins are just one category, and Lee has been astounding at the other three: he has a 3.18 ERA, more than a strikeout per inning, and a dominant 1.05 WHIP. Plus, he’s expecting to eventually get Ryan Howard and Chase Utley back. He will get his wins and you’ll be happy you kept him.
For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses four pitchers who could help you in fantasy baseball this week.
Tim Collins, RP, Royals
There have been several relief pitchers this season who have so dominated in their role that they deserved being scooped up off the waiver wire, even before they were picking up saves. Three that come to mind are Aroldis Chapman, Ernesto Frieri, and Tyler Clippard. Next in line is Tim Collins, a 22-year-old southpaw who has dominated in the Royals bullpen this season.
While Jonathan Broxton has been a dominant reliever, Collins is a perfect 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He is striking out about 1.5 batters per inning, which ranks amongst the leaders in baseball. Perhaps if Broxton is traded at the deadline or ends up injured, Collins would end up getting some save opportunities. This is an arm fantasy baseball managers should target.
Garrett Richards, SP, Angels
The Angels seem to always have a nice group of spot starters and this year is no different, as Garrett Richards provided a stellar seven innings last week against the Mariners. This time around, Richards, who is filling in for the injured Jered Weaver, takes on the Dodgers.
The former first-round pick did not dominate in the minors, but most big league clubs struggle against rookies in their first few starts because of a lack of a scouting report. Richards did show an ability to strikeout the opposition in the minor leagues and it carried out similarly in his first start this season in the majors. Expect big things in his second start as Matt Kemp remains on the DL for the Dodgers and the game comes at LA’s National League park.
Henderson Alvarez, SP, Blue Jays
As long as you are not looking for many strikeouts, Henderson Alvarez is a fine start, first against the Nationals this week and then against the Brewers next week. The 23-year-old boasts a solid 3.76 ERA and 1.28 WHIP despite pitching in a hitter-friendly ballpark in the brutal AL East.
Alavrez had a mini slump in the last few weeks, but it came against impressive offenses such as the Rangers, White Sox, and Red Sox. The Nationals should not be such an issue, even with a designated hitter at their use. The Brewers will be the next foe and that comes at Milwaukee, which means Alvarez gets the benefit of throwing to the opposing pitcher. A pitcher with great command, Alvarez is a safe bet this week.
Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Dodgers
This 22-year-old has been a pleasant surprise for the Dodgers since he was drafted in the 11th round in 2008. Eovaldi has picked up plenty of K’s in both the minors and big leagues and calls home one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball. Though his record shows at 0-2, Eovaldi has pitched quite well with a .209 opposing average and 1.93 ERA. Amongst his three starts are one at Colorado and most recently, six shutout innings against the Mariners. Eovaldi is turning into a hot prospect and this may be your last chance to pick him up off the waiver wire.
For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw answers your questions from Twitter about potential fantasy roster changes.
Question: Do I trade Bryce Harper to get Tim Lincecum?
Answer: This is an easy one: No Way! Bryce Harper is not just good for his age (19 years old), he is very good in general. As I always say, I would rather have a hitter who contributes in five categories than a starter who contributes in at four at the most. The only starters that I would consider investing such a hefty price in are sure things and Tim Lincecum is not a sure thing. The Giants star has surrendered four or more runs in five of his last six starts. Harper is a five-tool talent primed to win Rookie of the Year.
Question: I’m looking for steals without breaking the bank. Should I trade for Bonifacio, Austin Jackson, or someone else?
Answer: You have a few options for stolen bases. Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis is a bit too feast or famine but he does rack up the steals. With Eric Thames demoted, he will play regularly until another prospect such as Travis Snider is promoted. Davis does not reach base often enough and lacks much pop, but he will steal 25-plus bases and score some runs.
Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., is another option. He is solid on defense, which buys him some at-bats. On the basepaths he had already swiped eight bases and his average is respectable. Just don’t expect any power.
Tigers centerfielder Austin Jackson is returning from injury but is now reaching base more often and hitting for power. Then there is the Prince and Miguel who make sure to drive him in. This is a player to trade for.
Question: Avila hitting the DL hurts in my two-catcher league. Only options seem to be Thole, Laird, or Jaso. Thoughts?
Answer: Josh Thole is the safe bet. He will at least offer you a high average and high on-base percentage and will perhaps score some runs. On the other hand, he has the least home runs of any active catcher with 700 at-bats dating back to 2009. Chris Iannetta will be coming off the disabled list soon and I recommend picking him up and riding out Thole in the short-term.
Question: I have four Mets on my fantasy baseball team (Murphy, Nieuwenhuis, Byrdak, and Niese) but I think I might bench them this weekend during the Subway Series. Thoughts?
Answer: You definitely don’t want to bench all your Mets this weekend against the Yankees. They are playing at the more hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, and Daniel Murphy finally showed some life on Thursday with the bat while Kirk Nieuwenhuis is a line drive machine. You can consider benching some of the pitchers such as Niese if it’s the Yankees offense that scares you, but the Mets should put up some runs.
For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down the numbers of four players to explain why they are performing at the level that they are this season.
Sergio Romo, RP, Giants
With Santiago Casilla out due to injury, Romo finally got some glory, picking up two saves. Romo has been as good as anybody, with two two wins, two saves, and just one run allowed through 15+ innings of work. Casilla is bound to return as closer, but Romo is the rare middle reliever whose numbers are so dominant that he is worthy of a spot on your fantasy team. To gain a sense of his dominance, consider that the National League Whiff% average for relievers is 23%. Romo is by far the best in baseball with double that, a Whiff% of 46%.
Andrew Cashner, RP, Padres
Though there has not been much good this season for the San Diego Padres, Andrew Cashner has been exciting and there is now talk that the Padres may want to extend him into a starter. Cashner has been the hardest thrower in baseball this season with an average fastball of 98.8 MPH, which is faster than Henry Rodriguez and Aroldis Chapman. He remains a bit wild, so I would avoid Cashner as an investment as his 1.52 WHIP is one of the worst for a regular pitcher in baseball this season.
Chris Capuano, SP, Dodgers
After a fine bounce-back season for the Mets last year, Chris Capuano is now making the most out of his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Capuano is a former 18-game winner, so this is not exactly an unproven commodity. However, perhaps the cause for the southpaw’s success this season has been his control of the strike zone, particularly with first-pitch strikes. He currently ranks third in baseball in that statistic among starters with 67% of his pitches thrown for strikes on a 0-0 count. That ranks just behind Cliff Lee and Jordan Zimmerman, two of the better hurlers in baseball.
Melky Cabrera, OF, Giants
A late bloomer first with the Royals and now with the Giants, Melky Cabrera has become a legitimate star. One area in which he has shined brightest is against the off-speed pitch. After all, this is a hitter who bats .340, compared to the usual .223 average in the National League. In total, Cabrera is hitting .364 this season with a bit of pop, and don’t let the four home runs confuse you. He boasts a .538 slugging percentage with 24 extra-base hits along with nine stolen bases.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw answers questions from Twitter about managing fantasy baseball roster changes:
Question: I need to free up a roster spot. Should I drop Colby Lewis or Mat Latos? Who has better potential of bouncing back?
Answer: Colby Lewis doesn’t really need to bounce back. He is 4-4 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, which so far is beating expectations. He will give you a solid WHIP, comparatively high ERA due to the ballpark, and more than 12 wins for the Rangers. His weakness is that he gives up a lot of bombs. He has already allowed 14 home runs this season, including five in one game.
On the other hand, Reds hurler Mat Latoshas struggled a bit despite a 4-2 record. His 4.91 ERA and 1.40 WHIP suggest it’s been a tough transition to Cincinnati. Like Lewis, he has given up a ton of home runs — 12 so far this year. Each year, Latos’ walks and hits have gone up, but he now has to pitch in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati rather than in the pitcher haven Petco Park.
Ultimately, Colby Lewis is the safe bet since he does not allow many runners on base and has an incredible offense behind him, but Latos has greater potential because of his youth and past numbers. I’d try to trade Latos and keep Lewis.
Question: I really need a new backup catcher on my fantasy teams. Suzuki is struggling and Mauer is day-to-day right now. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario has been an excellent pickup. He hit his ninth home run Monday night and now has three in his last seven games with nine RBI during that stretch. If he’s still available, he’s the hitter to target. If he’s already been taken, Chris Iannetta will return soon for the Angels and is another good option. He offers a low average but solid on-base percentage and power. Finally, for the Nationals, Jesus Flores has some pop and also hits for the highest average of the bunch.
Question: Is it worth keeping Bryan LaHair in my outfield anymore? Dexter Fowler is available.
Answer: I would rather have Dexter Fowler than Bryan LaHair. However, dropping LaHair would be a mistake. Look to package the Cubs .300 power hitter for your roster’s weakness. Fowler is the complete package in mind, with more power than the speed you expect from him. LaHair is a fine hitter, but not nearly as well-rounded a fantasy performer.
For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses three pitchers who you can look to for some production in fantasy baseball this week.
Jeremy Hefner, SP, Mets
The New York Mets are one of the hottest teams in baseball right now and the excellent pitching has been contagious, so much so that even little known rookie Jeremy Hefner has gotten into the action as a replacement for the injured Miguel Batista.
If you’re wondering whether Hefner will be able to take care of business this week, what you should pay attention to are two statistics. First the BB/9, because so far in Major League Baseball of all pitchers with at least 15 innings of work, Hefner has the best command walking just one batter in 17 innings of work. Next, a key difference between his struggles in the rain delay loss to the lowly Padres compared to the win over the rival Phillies was his ability to finish off batters with two strikes. The Padres went 6-12 against Hefner with two strikes while the Phillies were just 1-10. Hefner will be pitching for a spot in the Big Leagues, as Batista is returning from the DL and Chris Young is slotted to return to the Mets as well.
Chris Young, SP, Mets
One thing to note about Chris Young, the 6’9 hurler, is that when healthy he is effective. After a successful tenure with the Rangers and the Padres, Young got off to a fine start with the Mets last season, offering a 1-0 record with four starts with a 1.88 ERA. Young may have to be a little better this season, as the fly ball pitcher will have to respond to the fences being drawn in at Citi Field. However, there is cause for optimism as he’s enjoyed success even in Texas, and his first start comes at Washington, one of the more pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball. On the other hand, his second start may come at Yankee Stadium, so buyer beware.
Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers
Drew Smyly looks like a good bet this week as he gets two starts, the first coming at home against the Cleveland Indians. Smyly has come back to reality a bit in recent weeks, but the control is real, he just has to learn to keep the ball within the park. Also, after making four of his last five starts on the road, Smyly returns to the pitcher-friendly Comerica Park. The Indians are also coming back to earth, losing seven of their last nine games. Smyly’s second start this week comes at the pitcher-friendly Great American Ballpark, but at least there won’t be designated hitters involved.
For more fantasy baseball insight visit BloombergSports.com
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw offers four players who can have a major impact on your fantasy baseball team.
Last year only two players in baseball had 30 or more doubles, 15 or more triples, 5 or more home runs, and 10 or more saves. One is Jose Reyes, who signed a monster deal with the Marlins. The other is Dexter Fowler, an outfielder that had been considered a bust in fantasy circles for a few years. It turns out that our focus should have been more on the extra base hits than the steals. Fowler is a power guy, who slowly but surely was growing into his 6’4 frame. This year the doubles have turned into home runs and he is now on pace for 30 round-trippers. Fowler reminds me a little of Rickie Weeks. The average won’t flirt with .300 much, but he does draw walks and the power is legit.
A strikeout machine who cranks the ball up to 100 MPH, Stephen Pryor is likely a future closer who at just 22 years old will get a look in the Mariners bullpen. Pryor has had some control issues in the past, but this year he has been in control, which explains the 0.64 ERA through 28 innings split between the higher levels of the minor leagues. With Brandon League out temporarily as the closer and with his future in doubt as a free agent this summer, it makes a lot of sense for Pryor to get a look in some high pressure situations..
The long swing of Colby Rasmus is starting to make some great contact for the Toronto Blue Jays. Rasmus is riding a seven game hit streak with three home runs and six RBI over that span. In a killer lineup and a great ballpark, Rasmus has every chance to succeed in Toronto. After early struggles in spring training and then to open the season, Rasmus is finally showing the potential that made the Blue Jays a buyer last season after he wore out his welcome with the Cardinals.
Scott Feldman, SP, Rangers (at Oakland and San Francisco)
Feldman is not one of the sexier fantasy picks. He does not get many K’s, his ERA and WHIP are only alright since he calls home to the hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark, and then there is his lack of job security as a spot starter. On the other hand, Feldman does offer the Rangers a chance to win every time he takes the hill, which explains how he won 17 games just a few years ago. Now he gets favorable starts against the A’s and Giants on the road. This is as good as it gets for the Rangers veteran who should have plenty of run support and much friendly pitching backdrops.
Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria break down four players who have struggled mightily over the first quarter of the season:
Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
Last year a 1-4 performance was ho-hum for Royal phenom Eric Hosmer. These days it’s cause for celebration as it lifts his batting average further above the Mendoza line. The 6 home runs and 25 RBI aren’t all that bad for Hosmer, but with an average of .204, the former top three pick has been a major bust. Also, his power and patience have declined this month, as he boasts just one home run and six walks in May. I still do not suggest dropping Hosmer, because his struggles are not isolated. The entire Royals roster has pretty much struggled, and once guys like Alex Gordon, Jeff Francouer, and other start hitting, there will be more runners on base and more fastballs in the middle of the plate. I am buying low on Hosmer, and have confidence that he will turn this season around.
Dee Gordon, SS, Dodgers
Similar to former Rangers prospect Julio Borbon a few years ago, Dee Gordon gained some fantasy interest with a strong finish to the season, most notably 24 steals in 56 games. However the scouting report is now out on Gordon and you can’t steal bases if you can’t reach base. With a .225 average and .269 on base percentage, Gordon is not getting on base nearly enough. As a result, he is not scoring runs and not getting enough steals to warrant fantasy value. I’m not buying on Gordon in fear that he is a bit more one dimensional than people thought.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
Billed as the next prolific power hitter to thrive in the desert, Paul Goldschmidt was predicted to blast as many as 30 home runs this season Instead, he has just three round-trippers a quarter of the way through the season. The lack of homers as well as the 19 RBI will be enough for some fantasy managers to drop the bopper. Instead, they should focus on the 12 doubles, which projects to more than 40. Again, you can’t blame Goldschmidt for the fact that his teammates are struggling to reach base. Once those doubles turn to home runs, all will be forgiven.
Ike Davis, 1B, Mets
Finally, Ike Davis makes the list for all the wrong reasons. To his credit, Davis has driven in six RBI over the last six games, but his average is well below the Mendoza line and it will take a heck of a hot streak to return to respectability. The problem for Davis is that he is returning from nearly a full year off from baseball and his timing isn’t where it should be. Furthermore, the opposition is exploiting Davis with junk, throwing him more off-speed itches than anyone else in baseball. The Mets have decided to keep Davis at the Big League level, and this is largely because he remains a better threat than anyone else that they can put in the lineup. I don’t know when, but I do think that Davis will eventually bounce back and end up with a batting average closer to .240 by season’s end.
Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down four different fantasy players gaining some attention on the waiver wire.
How about the four game stretch from May 24 to the 27th for White Sox rising slugger Dayan Vicideo. The 23-year-old pounded out eight hits, scored six runs, blasted three home runs, and drove in 10 RBI during that stretch. I actually dropped the top prospect in one of my fantasy leagues for the simple reason that he kills your on base percentage. He has just four walks all season if that is a category in your fantasy league, you basically have to depend on him having a lot of power to make up for it. That certainly could end up being the case and as of now I regret dropping the Cuba native.
It was long in the making and long deserved, but middle reliever extraordinaire Tyler Clippard has finally been promoted to the closer’s role in Washington following the injury to Drew Storen and the implosion of Henry Rodriguez. Clippard was for a long time one of the few middle relievers worth owning in fantasy leagues because of his stellar all-around numbers including ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. A few years ago he even picked up 11 wins. Now he finally gets the glory associated with the ninth inning and he has been perfect in his last four outings, picking up three saves. Clippard’s fantasy value is soaring with saves now within reach.
The last time Sale had fantasy value it was because of our expectation that he would be the 2011 closer after scooping up four saves in 2010. Instead, Sale struggled early and ended up with just eight saves last season as Sergio Santos broke out as the team’s closer. This season Sale became a starting pitcher and after a brief flirtation of him returning to the bullpen, Sale has thrived, pitching at an ace level. On Monday, Sale was at his best, allowing just five total base runners while pitching into the eighth inning. Most notably, he fanned 15 batters, which is easily a career high. It actually might be the best time to sell high on Sale. After all, Sale is now just 13 innings away from reaching last year’s totals. You typically try to avoid the major increase in innings workload, so my guess is that the White Sox will try to limit Sale’s innings for the remainder of the season.
In his debut with the San Diego Padres, Carlos Quentin blasted a double, scored a run, and picked up an RBI. The power is legit, but keep in mind that Quentin is going from back-to-back hitter ballparks first in Arizona then in Chicago’s US Cellular to the ultimate pitcher’s park, PETCO Park. This is very much a streaky hitter, which tells me that the frustration of the cavernous home ballpark could end up wreaking havoc on Quentin’s season. I am not picking Quentin up off the waiver wire, allowing his low average to hurt my competitors.